Monday, April 21, 2008

Smoothie Pops! They're Superlicious!

Saying "Aden loves popcicles" is a huge understatement. I have issues with paying for the colored corn syrup kind so we spend bank on the 100% fruit popcicles and rarely have the cash to indulge. Not to mention, they are twice the size of regular popcicles so Aden ends up loosing 1/2 of them on his face, shirt, random places all over the house - you name it - not very economical. I had a bright idea one day that i would like to share with ya'll. I decided i would make smaller, fruit popcicles of our own, using smoothies. Aden decided they should be called Smoothie Pops. He said "We love Smoothie Pops!" over and over then said "They're Superlicious!" Such a cutie! I will share my recipe and tips below then some pics of the result.


Smoothie Pops

Needs:
Ice tray made for water bottles
Bamboo skewers
blender
funnel
snack-size ziplock baggies
frozen fruit (your choice)
100% fruit juice (apple or we used white grape peach)

protein powder (optional - i used Melaleuca's Vanilla Attain Meal Replacement Shake)


  1. Read directions on packaging of ice trays for use and removal - you will need them later.
  2. Cut bamboo skewers points off then cut in 1/2 (or 1/3 would work too)
  3. Place frozen fruit in blender to about 3/4 full
  4. Pour juice to the 16 oz mark
  5. Replace lid and let set for about 15 min.
  6. Blend to smooth, making sure all fruit pieces are blended.
  7. If using protein powder, place on top then replace lid and blend until well mixed.
  8. Using funnel, fill ice trays to almost full then put skewers in as the sticks (leaving sticking up enough for a small hand).
  9. Place in freezer until frozen (overnight if you can wait that long)
Once frozen prepare to remove from tray, bag them and return to freezer following these steps (working quickly once you get to step 3):

  1. Fill sink with hot water
  2. Open enough snack bags for the number of smoothie pops made (important to do before step 3).
  3. Remove pops from freezer and dip tray in hot water for 20 seconds.
  4. Remove bottom of tray (if not it causes a suction and you will loose part of the pops)
  5. Place in bag immediately.
  6. Return bags to freezer promptly so they stay frozen (could put all the individual bags in a bigger bag to contain them better).
  7. Enjoy!

Now for pics...Frozen pops - you can see why a funnel is needed (i didnt have one and it was pretty messy) and in the background the bags i have open and ready:


Aden getting his 3rd smoothie pop, all by himself!


Aden eating his 2nd smoothie pop:


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mom/Dad & Son Day #1

Today we started what i am hoping to be a fruitful endeavor of each of us 'rents having 1-on-1 time with each boy. We are planning on rotating every other week so each of us gets time with each child once a month...that sounds confusing...lol
I took Aden to the library and to Braum's then he was ready to come home. We spent over an hour at the library watching the fish, doing puzzles, playing computer games and finding books about dinosaurs. At Braum's Aden got 'green ice cream' on a cone. He would much rather just eat the cone so i ended up eating most of his scoop - good thing it was a junior size. On the way home i asked if we could go to Walmart to grocery shop and at first he wanted to but then he said, "Can we just go home?" So we came home and read about 5 or so of the many books he checked out...my throat started hurting so we had to quit. I think all-in-all we spent about 3 or so hours just doing what Aden wanted and me staying in the moment as much as possible. Its really hard to stay focused on a computer game you cant hear the audio for...
Chet and Seth went to Best Buy to 'window shop' and then to Mat Hoffman skate park. Seth met some new people and got to try and learn some new tricks...i wish i could remember all the stuff he said (darn memory).
Next week we will all spend Sat. at the Arts Festival at the Myriad Gardens then to a b-day party for a great friend. Then the next week will be my turn with Seth, and Chet's turn with Aden. In there somewhere we hope to get a date night once a month with just Chet and I. Our goal with all of this is to create a stronger family bond because it seems what we currently have is disconnect and chaos. Surely this will change things for the better.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Been a long time

It has been a while since i last blogged and most of you know why...my father was very ill for several weeks and died on April 10th. I am back home now and though things aren't 100% complete with his estate yet, i don't anticipate any more long trips to Tulsa. I have a ton of blogging to catch up on w/o regards to the time frame i was back and forth from Tulsa so i need to get my pics in order and get started on the catching up. First i am going to take some time to get my house and family back on track with our regular lives...So next week we will start back into our normal routines and life - including blogging.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Clean bug gone?

Well yesterday was a monumental day but either I overdid myself or it was just a fluke that i had that much energy in the first place. Today I was going to work on the short list in my previous post, key words "going to." Instead i took Aden and I to get haircuts, came home made a very simple, almost shameful lunch of Pizza Rolls, took a nap (Aden did too), read part of a book, dabbled online a bit, fetched pizza for dinner (shameful again) and here i sit wishing I had a soaker tub and that it were time for bed already.

I have a lot of pics and events i want to blog about that have happened over the last bit of time but i have to get the pics organized and cropped first - maybe next week. Maybe Spring cleaning will pick up again next week - after my chiropractor appt (yep, finally called the new one).

Off i go to read some more and await my hubby's arrival home from work - I was promised a massage tonight and boy do i need it after yesterday!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring Clean Update

I got more done than i thought today - mostly because it just *had* to be done. In the kitchen i have left: the microwave and stand, the real counter top and sink, the outside of all the cabinets (except above fridge, i did that when cleaning the top of the fridge - smart me!). Then of course the last sweep and mop.
Then the rest of the house...

Ants = Spring Cleaning?

I generally spring and fall clean each year, usually not as thorough as others do because this is not my house. The first year we were here i *did* clean all the walls in the living room and hall but that is a different story.
The weekend my Dad went in the hospital, Chet moved the couches out and vacuumed under them and cleaned some of the baseboards (more of a spot clean) due to ants beginning to invade. The ants seem to have become more comfortable here and expanded to the kitchen so we got the ant traps we usually get (new and improved version this year...lol) and put them where we have seen the most ants. This hasn't been good enough so last night i resolved to start spring cleaning...in the kitchen for starters. I usually don't do the kitchen in this house because i don't feel very comfortable moving things around, etc.
Today I woke, did my morning routine of brushing teeth, checking email, eating/making breakfast, feeding dog, etc then i started laundry to be going while i cleaned the kitchen. I really didn't get started on the kitchen until about noon and it is now only 1:30 but i feel like i have been working on it all day.
I started with the outside of the fridge and pulled it out to clean the floor under and behind it - EWWWWWWWW I don't know how long it has been but the amount of dust built up back there should have started a fire at some point! Luckily no gross food or any other surprises. So the outside of the fridge is clean (even on top) as well as the floor and the walls. Then i moved to the non-working dishwasher-used as counter space and cleaned the outside of that, the wall and the floor underneath, not so bad. Moving to the highest concentration of ants, i cleaned the outside of the chest freezer, the walls and the floor underneath - not bad but not great either. Then onto the dining table-used mostly as counter space; cleaned top of that and swept underneath.
So basically 1/2 of the kitchen is clean (at least the outside of appliances, walls and floor). I still have the stove, actual counter, sink, toaster and toaster oven, coffee pot and cabinets to clean as well as one final sweep and mop of the floor. I am not sure how much more energy i have in me for this today but i feel if i don't get it done, I will procrastinate until ants move to that part of the kitchen...lol
For the rest of my spring cleaning i plan to vacuum the couches & recliner - possibly steam clean them, take everything off the shelves and clean the shelves and possibly the walls and of course vacuum the floor - possibly steam cleaning it as well. I also plan to clean the bathroom with just as much detail as the kitchen though with less appliances it wont take as long. And maybe i will have all of it done before the end of April!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Trip to Post Office

This was one of those times i wish I had constant surveillance on Aden. He is such a cutie! After a harrowing experience trying to find the post office in Downtown OKC (the one on NW 5th, not SW 5th), Aden and I were standing in line to mail Seth's Not Back To School Camp registration. Mind you, it had to be postmarked by March 31st and i forgot to take it until after 5:30 which is why i had to find the downtown PO.
Anyway, we were standing in line and another 3 or 4 year old was with his father or grandfather. He had sunglasses and a denim jacket on...Mr. Cool to say the least! He spotted Aden and as he approached him, stuck out his tongue. Aden was offended by this and hid behind me carefully watching this 'mean' boy. Then the boy proceeded to slide the "Wait here for next cashier" sign off-center on its post. Aden promptly corrected the sign (as any self-respecting kid with OCD tendencies would) and the boy just as promptly slid the sign over again. Aden, really wanting to correct the sign again, shook his finger at the boy and said something like "that is not okay."
I picked Aden up and explained to him that as much as he wanted to fix the sign, the boy would just want to move it again so he left it alone...all the while shaking his finger at him with a stern look of disapproval on his face. After a bit the boy corrected the sign himself which resulted in Aden giving him a wide smile and a wink with a thumbs up then said, "That's perfect." He kept grinning at the boy the rest of the time until they left...he was so proud that the heathen finally made the right choice! Teeheehee!

Favorites

Aden is learning a lot about himself and how to label what he likes. He has lots of favorites...his favorite color is green, his favorite fruit is grapes (they are green), his stuffed monkey and bear are his favorites, and just yesterday he declared that the blankets he is holding in the picture were is favorte blankets when he was a baby.
Funny thing about that declaration is the story behind those 'blankets.' When he was crawling we would go to my sisters house and he would immediately head for her youngest daughters "weebees" which was a smallish store bought blanket with satin on one side and flannel on the other. I took that as a clue that he wanted one and proceeded to take measurements and make him 3 of them (ya know being prepared in case 1 got lost and to have 1 in the diaper bag at all times). Within a month we lost 2 of them and they were something he *had* to have with him at all times (he called it "G-G")...ack!

I went back to the store to get more satin and flannel and made some more. Well he didnt like the new ones so i thought maybe i would try a different fabric with animals on it because he loved going to the zoo and seeing the elephants...he didnt like those either! Another issue was that with the 1 G-G he did like, he sucked on the corners which wore the corners to threads. I cut the corners off once and sewed them up again and he nearly had a fit but accepted it anyway, then he did the same thing with the 'new corners' so i had to do it again. After that and all the new G-G trials he rejected his altered G-G and never wanted another. I kept all the rejects for him to use as blankets for his stuffed animals and until yesterday he never acknowledged them as much more than that. Teeheehee, in he walks holding the blankets up saying "These were my favorite blankets when i was little." I just had to take a picture. And since the camera is out, he had to make a silly face: